Tips For Singles On Surviving (and enjoying) The Holidays
Here you are, facing the holiday season alone. Have you been
*how alone and lonely you feel
*excuses you can give family members as to why you can't come
*what friends may be available to spend those long days with
*how another year has passed and you are (still) single
*how unfair it is that everyone else seems so happy and connected
*how you will handle the office holiday party- single, take a
friend, not attend
*going to a far away (tropical?) place to escape it all
*hiding out, alone, in your own home
If these thoughts sound familiar it is probably time to reflect
on your feelings regarding this holiday season. If your goal is
to hide out and endure it alone, you won't need to do too much
planning. However, if you wish to experience at least a measure
of the "peace and joy" associated with this time of year, you
need to make and follow through with plans that allow you to
participate in ways that are meaningful to YOU.
Remember, your senses are bombarded from October to December
with music, images and Hallmark verses depicting the "right"
experiences and expressions for the season. Remind yourself,
every day if necessary, that there's nothing wrong with being
single. You have the same need and right to enjoy this season as
any couple or family does. How you choose to do this is up to
After you have done some serious reflection, consider the
following list of holiday tips designed especially for singles.
Don't make plans out of a sense of obligation. This is also your
holiday season. Set limits, make good choices and enjoy. You may
ask yourself; "do I really want to go out"? If so, make your
next question something like; "does it sound like something I
would enjoy or be interested in?" Or, "will I have the
opportunity to meet and mix with other singles?"
Avoid unrealistic expectations from others, from yourself and
from the holidays themselves. Relax, enjoy and don't expect so
much that you will feel hurt or disappointed when things don't
turn out just as you had imagined. This will defeat all the
positive feelings and experiences that you may have already
Make sure you give thanks for all the blessings you do have in
your life. Focusing on what you don't have only encourages
negative thoughts. Add a prayer of hope for the things you would
like to work for in the coming year.
Don't overbook OR overstay a good amount of time with
relatives/friends. Sometimes a shorter stay works best and
leaves you energy and space to get back to your own home and
Look for ways to give to or do for others. Feeling useful and
appreciated will provide a great boost to your holiday spirits.
Check into volunteer opportunities at local shelters and nursing
homes or through any local church or non-profit group.
Don't plan to spend the entire holiday season with married
/coupled family and friends. Seek out other singles and singles
groups/ activities where you can feel relaxed and able to share
with folks you have more in common with at this time. Better
yet, plan a get together with other singles for one of the
holidays. A festive potluck meal, tree trimming party or other
holiday event would probably be much appreciated.
Do avoid using food, alcohol or drugs to cope with holiday
stress. Nothing is worse than the feelings that follow the use
(or wrong use) of these things. This way of coping leads to
depression, low self-esteem and a greater sense of isolation and
Do decorate your home with any and all things that make it feel
more festive and fun for YOU. Tune into all those wonderful
traditions you grew up with. It does not have to be very costly
or time consuming to begin your own traditions in your own
place. Don't put off or deny yourself those happy holiday
expressions, as you wait for your significant other. Make your
life all it can be right now.
Consider emphasizing the more spiritual aspects of the holiday.
Go to a concert featuring religious holiday music or attend a
church (or other) service, (even better with a friend).
Finally, going away to an exotic place may be just what you do
need. Look into tour or vacation packages for singles. This may
provide plenty of rest and relaxation and help you meet new
friends and develop new interests.
Whatever you decide to do for your holidays, have fun and enjoy
them. Focus on taking care of yourself and doing what is right
for you. This way you will also be giving your best to those
around you. Happy Holidays!